The Wild Blog, Part 18

The Wild and Deadly Show

There were lots of smiles (and a few scared faces – mostly from the parents) onsite this week as we held our first Wild and Deadly Wednesday of the Summer! Nick Wadham hosted his special Wild and Deadly show, where he showcased a variety of creepy crawlies. A particular highlight (for the kids at least) was when they got to nominate their parents to hold the tarantula! We also ran some great craft activities, and visitors had the chance to see our resident animals, including the birds of prey, foxes and badgers. If you missed it, and think that this sounds right up your street, come along on the 15th or 22nd August, 12 – 4pm. It’s £4 for adults and £2 for children, and promises to be a fun afternoon out for all ages!

Sweetpea and Daffodil

At the moment we have 3 lovely fawns onsite: Sweetpea, Daffodil and Jasmin, who are being looked after in our fawn paddock. Sweetpea is a red deer, who was found at the side of the road. She had stomach problems and animal carers were concerned about her sight. After treatment and being bottle fed Sweetpea improved, and was put in the fawn paddock with Daffodil, a fallow deer that had been hit by a car. Daffodil had head, neck and leg wounds, and when found it was touch and go whether he would survive. However he surprised staff with his recovery and fight to survive. The last deer, Jasmin, a roe, was found lying in a ditch at the side of the road. Fawn is usually the term we use for baby deer but in fact the only one that is truly a fawn is the fallow. The Red is called a calf and a roe is called a kid – however fawn is the term usually used as the accepted name for a baby deer.

These young deer will remain with us until the autumn where they will be taken to a release site monitored by the land owner. This will the responsibility of Jamie Kingscott, who is the Wildlife Release Manager at Secret World. We are always looking for release sites for many different species so if you have land that may be useful, please ring Jamie on 01278 783250 or email Jamie.Kingscott@secretworld.org.

This weekend our resident birds of prey will be out in Weston-super-Mare, on the Grand Pier. Why not pop along and meet them. You will be able to chat to our bird handlers all about them, and find out how they came to be at Secret World. Each owl has an interesting story to tell!

The Wild Blog, part 17

We have been engaging with lots of our younger supporters this week, both on and off site. This is so important to us, as these children are the future, and by teaching them to appreciate and look after wildlife we are protecting it for years to come.  We had two well attended Wild Academy sessions, focusing on birds of prey, and reptiles and amphibians. Our Wild Academy workshops encourage children to find out about the natural world around them through games, crafts and outdoor activities. The children who attended certainly seemed to enjoy themselves! We also attended an organised play day in Apex Park, where we made over 250 seed bombs with children!

The cygnets

This week we have had a lot of birds in, including two cygnets who were abandoned by their parents. The two tiny birds were found alone as their parents had flown away.  They were too small to fly as their wing feathers had not developed and they were unable to get off the ground.A member of the public found them, and delivered them to us, where their condition was assessed. Both birds were found to be in good health, just too young to be left out alone. They are now flourishing in one of our outside paddocks, where they will stay until they are stronger and their flight feathers have developed. Once this has happened a suitable release site will be found for them, one where there are other swans that they can join.

The tiny birds

Another happy story this week involved four tiny sparrows. We had a call from a member of the public who found three tiny sparrows who had recently hatched, and one cracked egg on the ground. The recent rain had destroyed their nest, leaving them to fall to the floor. They came in to us, where they were put into an incubator. The three birds were so tiny they were not expected to survive, but miraculously they did. In another twist of fate the cracked egg is now hatching, meaning the last bird will soon be joining its siblings. The sparrows are in our hospital room, where they are receiving round the clock care and hourly feeds. At this time of year our hospital rooms are full of tiny birds, who are all casualties of the weather. Many arrived during the hot spells, when they fell out of their nests due to the heat. Thanks to our dedicated animal care staff and volunteers who are caring for them all!

Amoré the Otter Returns to Secret World with a Friend

The first otter cub rescued by Secret World Wildlife Rescue this year has returned to the rescue centre to continue its recovery with another otter.

Amoré the otter was rescued by the charity in February. After a period of recovery under the care of staff at Secret World, Amoré was transferred to another animal care centre to be paired with another orphaned otter.

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Somerset Businesses Help Wildlife in Need

Businesses in Somerset have been doing their bit to help injured animals, according to Secret World Wildlife Rescue.

The charity has rescued three injured and poorly animals in the past couple of weeks after being alerted by businesses in Highbridge and Bridgwater.

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Secret World Issues Plastic Warning to Public

A leading animal charity in the South West is warning the public about the dangers plastic materials pose to animals.

After a recent spike in animal admissions with plastic-related injuries, Secret World Wildlife Rescue in East Huntspill, Somerset, is calling for the public to use outdoor plastic materials in a responsible and animal-friendly way.

Over the last month, the charity has rescued three animals with life threatening injuries sustained by plastic materials – a badger, a hedgehog and a heron.

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Secret World Celebrates Volunteers’ Week

Secret World is celebrating the contributions of its volunteer network for Volunteers’ Week, which begins today.

Secret World Wildlife Rescue in East Huntspill, Somerset has a team of over 350 volunteers who assist the charity with fundraising, animal care and rescue, administration and laundry, amongst many other tasks.

As a charity with limited funds, the team at Secret World are reliant on the dedication of its volunteers, all of whom donate their time for free. The charity shop in Burnham-on-Sea has 12 volunteers alone!

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Secret World Wildlife Rescue Seeks New Friends

Secret World Wildlife Rescue in the South West is seeking new friends and supporters through its latest initiative to help it raise more money.

As the demand for animal rescue has increased over the last 25 years, Secret World Wildlife Rescue is starting a new Friendship Circle to help it meet the increasing costs of rescuing over 5,000 animals each year. The charity, based in East Huntspill, Somerset, is wholly reliant on the generosity of its supporters.

The new friendship circle aims to keep its supporters better informed in return for committed financial support. The initiative is being led by the charity’s founder Pauline Kidner.

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Government moves to extend cull could prove lethal for two celebrity badgers

Fears are growing for two hand-reared badgers who appeared on a popular BBC TV show on Saturday 17th March, following moves to extend the badger cull on to land near their release site.

Gnat and Bumblebee appeared on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s BBC2 show Hugh’s Wild West . They were filmed last year while being cared for by staff and volunteers at the Secret World Wildlife Rescue centre in East Huntspill, which rescues, rehabilitates and releases British wildlife that has been abandoned and injured. Following the responsible protocol for the rehabilitation of badgers, the cubs were tested 3 times, a month apart, for Bovine TB and were negative.

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The Wild Blog, part 8

You might have seen us on the news at the start of this week. Our founder and advisor Pauline was on BBC Points West talking about the heron we have on site, and how the recent cold weather has affected British wild birds. Publicity like this is great for us, as it gets our name out there and if people find an injured animal they are much more likely to call us for advice.

The heron enjoying being outside

The heron that was the centre of this publicity is doing really well! He came in to us in a very weak condition as he had been unable to find food. After a bit of warmth and TLC from our animal carers he was soon back to full health. This week he was moved from his indoor enclosure to our water paddock, where he will build up muscle ready for release back into the wild. Sarah, who has been looking after him, said: “We lost so many herons as they are so nervous and poorly by the time they reach us, so it was wonderful when this skeletal heron took fish from my hand. He has continued to improve and put on weight.”

Sarah releasing one of the lapwings

We had a lovely ending to the week when we released a group of lapwings that came in during the snow. These beautiful birds were close to death when they arrived, as they hadn’t been able to find any food. Lapwings often feed at night in moonlight but many were bought to us by people who found them cold, exhausted and starving in their gardens. After feeding them up and a period of rehabilitation they were soon ready to go back to the wild. Sarah had the lovely job of releasing them, and seeing the fly free. She said: “It’s not easy to care for these kind of birds as they are so nervous but by feeding them on mealworms and waxworms, we have been able to get them back up to their normal weight and ready for release – it’s the best part of my job!” We wish the little guys lots of luck!

 

A delivery of a new marquee rounded off the week. Our old one was damaged during the high winds at the start of the year, and we have managing without for months. Now we have a nice new one, all ready for our Easter Family Fun Days, which take place on Friday March 30th and Saturday March 31st. It’s a free event and there will be lots going on, so we hope many of you will be able to join us!